Phs Athletic Trainer Moving On

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The athletic trainer, who for the past three years treated the cuts, bumps bruises and injuries of Payson High School athletes, is moving on.

Jerod Torrey resigned his position at the end of school year to pursue other opportunities in the athletic training field.

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Chuck Hardt, left, Dan Reid and Kenny Hayes (far right) present Jerod Torrey with a going-away gift, featuring photos of relay teams he helped during his time at Payson High School as athletic trainer for all the school's teams.

When Torrey does depart the PHS campus, it will be with a wealth of memories.

"It's been a wonderful experience," he said. "It's a demanding job, but its kind of fun, too."

Having a full-time trainer on campus was a first for Payson High School, where in previous years coaches performed the duties as best they could.

"What a huge difference he has made," acting athletic director Tim Fruth said. "He has been phenomenal and gone above and beyond what was asked of him."

With Torrey available to treat athletes, coaches were freed up to take care of other responsibilities.

"Having him was huge. I used to spend 30 to 25 minutes taping and looking after injuries, before I could ever get around to the kids," veteran track and basketball coach Chuck Hardt said. "He took care of the little, nagging (injuries) before they became big."

His expertise in athletic training -- Torrey is a graduate of Iowa State University where he was a student trainer in football and track and field -- was also an invaluable asset.

"We could go to him and get his help and suggestions, he has a lot of knowledge," Hardt said.

Torrey was assigned to the school in the summer of 2005, as an employee of Payson Regional Medical Center, to help eliminate athletic injuries and rehabilitate those who were sidelined.

When school was not in session, Torrey treated the Rim Country's amateur athletes and weekend warriors.

At the time Torrey was assigned to PHS, then-athletic director Dave Bradley called him "one of the best things to happen to our sports program."

After arriving on campus, Torrey and Dr. Olivia Morris -- with whom the trainer worked hand-in-hand -- faced a tough obstacle in convincing athletes and their parents the two were there to help.

"Some thought we wanted to hold them (the athletes) out (of competition) and were reluctant to seek (our) help," he said. "Our challenge was to convince them we were there to get them back on the field."

Torrey believes he and Morris were successful in meeting the challenge.

"Over the years, I think they learned what we were on campus for," he said.

Although Torrey's responsibilities were to remain focused on the welfare of the athletes, especially during competition, it's only human nature to actively support the athletes he diligently cared for.

"Sometimes I got wrapped up cheering for them," he said. "My job is safety first, but I always wanted to kids to do well, too."

In addition to his training duties, Torrey also lent a coaching hand.

"His heart was in track and field and that's what he liked to help us with," Hardt said.

His responsibilities for the boys and girls track teams included coaching the relay teams.

For Torrey's efforts, Hardt and other track coaches, including Dan Reid, presented Torrey with a souvenir shadow box enclosed with pictures of the 2007 relay foursomes.

The ceremony took place May 25 at Payson High School.

"He'll be missed, that's for sure," Hardt said.

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